Friday, January 30, 2009

Firm to conduct analysis of Santee's administration

T&D Correspondent Friday, January 30, 2009

SANTEE -- A firm recently hired to provide administrative services for Santee will conduct a startup analysis of the town before it begins its duties.

At a special called meeting Tuesday night, council met behind closed doors for nearly two hours to discuss contractual matters with attorney William Johnson, as well as state Rep. Garry Smith and Jason Purvis of Burkhold Smith Planning & Management. Council recently hired Burkhold Smith to provide administrative services.

On Tuesday, council unanimously approved a motion to, "authorize the Mayor to execute a contract with Burkhold Smith Planning & Management for a 'startup analysis' for the Town of Santee."

Smith, a partner in the firm, and project manager Jason Purvis will, "look at the complete structure, as well as the systems and processes of the town and do an analysis," Smith said.

Smith said the analysis will consist of a detailed review of items such as personnel policies, job descriptions, zoning ordinances, comprehensive planning and finances.

He said he most recently reviewed the town's audits covering the past four fiscal years.

Smith said the firm plans to present some recommendations as early as the next council meeting, slated for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 4, at Santee Town Hall.

In a letter to Mayor Silas Seabrooks earlier this month, the firm proposed to work five days a week for the town at a rate of $55 per hour.

At the Jan. 13 meeting, Seabrooks cast the only vote against hiring the firm, saying the town can't afford it.

For now, the firm is working in a consulting capacity for the town.

Smith said, "Right now we're consultants to do an analysis of the town. Once that's complete, we'll decide where to go from there."

T&D Correspondent Martha Rose Brown can be reached by e-mail at Discuss this and other stories online at

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